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London's cabs gets TV savvy, Cabvision explores advertising opportunities

MUMBAI: London cabbies are getting hi-tech! Following the launch of a new broadcast service, black cabs in the Queen's country will have an in-built television. Named 'Cabvision', the new in-taxi television system will provide a wide variety of programmes including the award-winning BBC comedy The Office, as well as the Mayor's own channel, London TV.

The new in-cab TV system will use digital audio broadcasting (DAB) technology to deliver media content and GPRS from London's mobile operator O2.

A total of 1000 London taxis will have this system installed in them this month. Passengers will have the choice of viewing a range of TV channels. The programming schedule has been specifically designed to appeal to young, affluent and educated audience.

How it works

Once a passenger enters the cab, the system automatically powers up as it is linked into the fare meter system. After a short safety message and introduction, the passenger enters a menu system and can choose a channel of his/her choice. Passengers can access any channel by accessing the control buttons, which will be present on either side of the cab.

And that's not where it ends. Cabvision has also set its eyes on luring advertisers to a service that combines both TV and traditional exterior taxi advertising. The advertising messages will be played in the cabs within the first 20 minutes of the journey.

The Cabvision system uses a purpose built computer housed in the boot of the cab and a high resolution flat screen is integrated into the central bulk- head between the seats.

Cabvision sales and marketing director Tom Paton was quoted in a media report as saying, "Cabvision is a reliable, quantifiable and cost-effective way of maximising the impact of an advertising campaign using your existing TV commercials out of home, within the premium-priced London market."

Cabvision offers advertisers a total taxi marketing solution, simultaneously combining impact from TV advertising and traditional taxi exteriors. IBM was the first to take this concept one step further. The company has exclusive ownership of the live scores at Wimbledon and was in the process of figuring out the best way to maximise its use. That's where Cabvision stepped in and convinced IBM that they could deliver a new innovative mobile media platform that provides the ideal solution for their needs.

A brief description detailing the contribution each product delivered to the campaign is detailed below:

    Through using Taxi liveries IBM where able to produce a mass market eye catching mobile billboard attaining high levels off frequency to a broad audience.

    The strap line "Get in, Wimbledon is ON" surely needed no further explanation.

    Cabvision is a commercially funded passenger entertainment system designed to appeal to passenger needs in a captive environment.

    Advertisers are able to seamlessly integrate the Cabvision offering through creative synergy both outside and inside the Taxi. IBM created maximum impact by broadcasting both the live point by point scores and a TV commercial.

Cabvision has also signed up with a major airline as its advertiser on the TV screens.

"From the consumer's point of view I think the fact they are being given some blue-chip quality content to surf and view that's going to break up an otherwise monotonous experience is a benefit," Paton was quoted in the media report.

Cabvision will pay cab drivers ?750 each year for the space and hopes to mop up revenues of ?1+ million at the end of the first year. The company also has plans to have the screens operating in 4,000 cabs after three years.

Cabvision co-founder Peter Da Costa was quoted in a media report as saying, "When you think of London, chances are you think of the traditional black cab. Cabvision maintains that evocative and traditional exterior whilst bringing the interior completely up to date. Cabvision keeps passengers entertained and informed during their journey, and crucially, the passenger is always in control of what they choose to watch."

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